Thursday, September 18, 2014

A break in our routine

I oversleep, and, rising, wake you early.
I tiptoe out, and you roll over,
each hoping for return to our routine,
but as I sit, nursing my book and coffee,
you stumble down the stairs,
and soon --
another departure from routine --
the conversation turns to flexibility,
and now you read to me:
Frost's Birches,
which I'd never heard before,
and so I read to you:
Blackwater Pond, from Mary Oliver.

Now that you've left, in search of coffee,
I'll try routine again,
and settle in my chair to breathe.

Breathe in the love, I think,
and hear The Presence in the seagull's cry,
the neighbor's dogs,
the bandsaw as the farmer builds his barn...

Breathe out some love, and panic, for I cannot seem
to tap into that space, but then I see
that love (today, at any rate)'s the ache I feel
for newly widowed friends, for brushes with mortality,
for dear ones in transition,

And now, the hardest one of all:
to rest between the out-breath and the in--
So eager I always am to push on forward into next--
but here our cat,
who doesn't know he's dying,
curls down into my lap
and purrs himself to sleep.
I tenderly curl my hand against the soft fur of his back
and that connection, though it doesn't seem to heal him,
(each day I touch his swollen cheek
in hopes the tumor's shrunk,
but still it grows)
that connection,
though it doesn't seem to heal him,
makes me whole.

-- for Leigh; and for Abra, Steve and Robin

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